German Grand Prix, but European Minardi F1 had every reason to feel satisfied with its efforts at the conclusion of this afternoon's qualifying session. Drivers Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques continued to fine-tune the handling of their PS01 ...
German Grand Prix, but European Minardi F1 had every reason to feel satisfied with its efforts at the conclusion of this afternoon's qualifying session. Drivers Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques continued to fine-tune the handling of their PS01 chassis to deal with the demands of the high-speed Hockenheim circuit, even a sensor-related problem that kept Alonso's car in the garage for some of the morning's second timed session doing little to slow the team's overall progress. Both drivers will line up tomorrow optimistic of a competitive showing in the race.
"It is a shame that we often start from the last row of the grid, but we are aware that this track in particular is extremely hard for us, especially because it is so demanding on the engine. We are not that far from the two Arrows, however, and I would not exclude the possibility that we might have a good race tomorrow. After doing back-to-back tests with the two tyre compounds available to us this weekend, we found there was one that worked well for us. Naturally, we have chosen it for the race and I feel confident that our performance will benefit accordingly."
"We improved the car quite a lot during the qualifying session. When I was on the first three sets of tyres, though, I lost some time with a gear selection problem. This was rectified for the last run and we also made some changes to improve the set-up of the car. Unfortunately, when I went for my final attempt, I found the track blocked by Jos Verstappen's car, which had spun, and lost the opportunity of setting what should have my fastest lap. It is a bit disappointing because today my car definitely had the potential to go faster."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principles "Despite finishing P21 and P22, the European Minardi team is pleased with its performance today. To qualify within four seconds of the pole position time on a power circuit like Hockenheim is a good effort. Both drivers extracted the maximum from their cars this afternoon, although Tarso unfortunately encountered traffic on his last run and was unable to improve his time further. Nevertheless, we now look forward to tomorrow's race with enthusiasm and will be aiming for a top-10 finish."